In continuation to its earlier notification of resuming cooked meals in trains soon, the Indian Railways on Wednesday announced that it will be restoring catering services in certain premium trains.
These trains include Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Vande Bharat, Tejas and Gatimaan, the Railways Board added.
According to this order, Zonal Railways will verify the catering charges to be realized based on services being provided and the applicable rate list and feed the same in the PRS software for enabling booking/opting out of Catering services, from ARP date, at the time of booking of tickets.
Also Read: IRCTC: Indian Railways to resume serving cooked meals to passengers
"Presently, it will be applicable for only Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Duronto, Vande Bharat, Tejas and Gatiman category of trains. For those passengers, who already booked tickets in advance, some directions have been given to the service provider," the order reads.
According to this, IRCTC will intimate the concerned Zonal Railway about the exact date from which onboard catering services with cooked food will be resumed in a particular train for the journeys falling within the ARP.
It also said that Zonal Railways on getting such intimation will enable the option of booking meal or opting out of catering services for the journey dates starting from the commencement of catering service in PRS software.
It advised to IRCTC to inform e-ticket passengers through SMS and e-mail, who already booked tickets in advance regarding the resumption of cooked food supply.
Similarly, Zonal railways shall inform passengers who are booked through PRS via Bulk SMS.
For the tickets already booked, IRCTC will provide a facility on its website to opt for catering services and payment of the charges due in advance. This facility will be available for e-tickets as well as counter-ticket passengers.
For those passengers who already booked and have not opted for the same online, cooked food should be made available on demand in the train on a payment basis, subject to availability. The ticket checking staff onboard shall collect the catering charges due as per the approved rate list.
Since March 2020, the railways had suspended food catering business and other services, such as providing bedrolls, blankets, in the wake of a surge in COVID-19 pandemic-triggered lockdown. The suspension of catering services also affected the employment of lakhs of people.
Later, in August 2021, the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Cooperation (IRCTC) resumed the e-Catering services.
Copyright©2022 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today